Carolina Mudcats blanked by Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 6-0
ZEBULON, N.C. – The Myrtle Beach Pelicans shut out the Carolina Mudcats and added a couple of monster home runs on their way to a 6-0 victory on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon.
Manager Scooter Tucker said he was disappointed with his team's performance and the final score.
"Offensively, we didn't get the job done," said Tucker. "We got leadoff guys on, didn't get them over, didn't get them in. You don't always score by getting a hit but we didn't do the things to generate runs."
"We had more than enough opportunities," Tucker added.
Carolina left a season-high 17 runners on base and went one for 13 with runners in scoring position.
The Mudcats failure to take advantage of scoring opportunities left starter Cole Sulser with yet another loss.
Sulser (2-7, 5.14 ERA) had great command on Tuesday as he pitched six innings and allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks. The Carolina starter struck out seven Myrtle Beach batters and looked dominant early but a couple of tough at bats in the fourth inning turned the game around in favor of the Pelicans.
In the fourth inning, Myrtle Beach's Hanser Alberto singled to right to give the Pelican's their first base runner of the game. Preston Beck followed it up with a walk to put some pressure on Sulser before Nick Williams, fresh off of the disabled list, crushed a ball over the right field wall to give the Pelicans a 3-0 lead.
Sulser still had the approval of his manager despite shouldering the loss.
"A couple of bad pitches dictated the outcome, but overall I thought he pitched really well and the first couple of innings he was nearly perfect. Good work by him today but he didn't get any run support." said Tucker.
Chad Bell earned the win for the Pelicans after throwing five scoreless innings. Bell improved to 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA despite giving up nine hits.
Carolina had Bell in their sights from the start of the game but couldn't seem to find the scoring play it needed.
The second inning carried more of the same for the Mudcats. Jerrud Sabourin singled to left and James Robertsreached on a fielding error by first baseman Kevin Torres to give Carolina another opportunity. Ryan Battaglia andLuigi Rodriguez failed to drive home either base runner and recorded back to back outs instead.
A leadoff double from Yhoxian Medina in the fifth put Carolina in position to get a run back. Yandy Diaz singled to left to move Medina to third but a Joe Sever strikeout and a ground out from Alex Monsalve squandered yet another chance to score.
Jerrd Sabourin sent a double down the right field line in the bottom of the sixth but the Mudcats could not bring him home to score.
The Pelicans found success where the Mudcats failed. With Rob Nixon in to replace Cole Sulser in the top of the seventh, Myrtle Beach's Kevin Torres singled to left and Luis Mendez earned a walk to set up another score. Hanser Alberto cashed in with a three run shot to left to make it a 6-0 ball game.
Nixon struggled in two innings and allowed three earned runs off of two hits and a walk.
The Mudcats had one last opportunity to really do some damage in the bottom of the eighth. James Roberts and Luigi Rodriguez both took walks before Yhoxian Medina was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With the fans on their feet, All-Star starter Erik Gonzalez popped out to center to end the inning and leave three stranded.
On the game the Mudcats collected a total of 11 hits but couldn't manage a single run. The Pelicans were out hit and only managed seven total hits.
The loss drops Carolina to 3-3 in the second half while Myrtle Beach improves to 4-2.
Tucker acknowledged the flaws of his team's outing on Tuesday.
"This is a team sport and everyone has to do their part. Whether it be defense, offense, or pitching," Tucker explained. "When one part of the game doesn't work that day, you have to do really well in other areas."
But the former major league catcher still had his good humor and seemed to remain positive.
"I've never seen a team win without scoring," Tucker said with a laugh.
Jerrud Sabourin had a solid game on Tuesday. He finished 3-4 with a double and a walk.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.